Geist Half Marathon Inc. organizers announced today that nine schools were granted moneys from the Geist Half Marathon Grant Program totalling $18,175 to fund health and wellness initiatives in Geist area schools. This brings the total disbursement from the 2010 running of the St.Vincent Geist Half Marathon Presented by Comcast to over $65,000.
Riverside Junior High ($2,000), Noble Crossing Elementary ($1,875), Fishers Junior High ($2,000), Riverside Elementary IPS #44 ($750), Woodbrook Elementary ($500) and Fall Creek Intermediate ($450) schools were all named beneficiaries from the Geist Half Marathon Grant Program. An additional $5,000 grant was given to both the Lawrence Township School Foundation and the Hamilton Southeastern School Foundation, bringing their total grants up to $25,000 each from 2010 race proceeds.
“There are some exciting health and wellness programs being developed and we are happy to fund them,” said Tom Britt, president and founding board member of the Geist Half Marathon.
Among the programs funded was a new running program designed for girls in grades 3 through 5 at Noble Crossing Elementary School called “Girls on the Run.” Susan Foellinger and Hollie Nicholson submitted their grant request for $1,875 which will fund coaching materials, CPR training and curriculum, healthy after school snacks, sponsorship t-shirts, and incentives for the participants.
“We start training with our girls in late February and train 12 weeks using the Geist 5K race as our culminating event,” said Foellinger. “We hope to grow the program throughout Hamilton County.”
Woodbrook Elementary School in Carmel requested $500 to pay for food and t-shirts for their annual Wellness Week during the first week of April. Approximately 45 parents volunteer throughout the week at the school with a community-wide Wellness Fair on April 17.
A first-time grant request came from Riverside Elementary School #44, an IPS school with a teacher wanting to start an after school running program. Wellness coordinator Ellen Auten, a Geist resident and teacher at School #44, wants to share her love of running with her students.
“A lot of our students are less privileged, so we’ll need shoes, socks, and after school snacks to get this program started,” she said.
A private family foundation from the Geist area matched the $750 granted by the Geist Half Marathon so that new running shoes could be purchased for the 15 participants.
Schools or groups that wish to participate in this year’s 4th annual St.Vincent Geist Half Marathon & 5K Presented by Comcast are encouraged to visit the www.GeistHalf.com website and click on the “school program” link. In previous years, over 4,800 school-aged children have participated through this outreach program.